Opera Singer Nicky Spence is one of Scotland’s proudest sons and his unique skills as a singing actor and the rare honesty of his musicianship have earned him a place at the top of the classical music profession. 

Nicky was schooled locally in Dumfries and Galloway before receiving a scholarship to the Guildhall School as their youngest singer at 17 years old. During his training, he won a record contract with Decca Records before taking a place at the National Opera Studio and latterly a position at the English National Opera as one of their inaugural Harewood Artists. 

Safely inhabiting the repertoire of Strauss, Janáček and Wagner, Nicky is fulfilling his exciting potential as a Heldentenor having recently made his role debut as Parsifal with the Hallé orchestra under Sir Mark Elder. Described in The Times as ‘a tenor who combines heroic tone and a poetic sensibility that takes the breath away’, Nicky has recorded prolifically and is a regular featured recitalist at the Wigmore Hall, London though he can mostly be found on the International stages of Opera de Paris, Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera, New York. 

This summer Nicky will return to Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Tichon in Damiano Michieletto’s new production of Káťa Kabanová conducted by Robin Ticciati, and he will be featured in the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.

Nicky is also a keen charity worker which encompasses his position as patron for both Blackheath Halls in London and Scottish Opera's Young Company, as an ambassador for Help Musicians UK, and proud president of Dumfries’s own Musical Theatre Company.  In 2019, Nicky joined the board of the Incorporated Society of Musicians.  

Nicky is a Samling Artist, recently joining their team as a leader of young singers, and enjoys giving masterclasses internationally. Spence was nominated by the International Opera Awards for Young Singer of the Year in 2015 and was also one of ten artists included in the Times Breakthrough Award at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards celebrating the best up and coming young British talent from across the Arts industry. In 2020 he won the BBC Music Magazine Vocal Award and Gramophone’s Solo Vocal Award for his critically acclaimed recording of Janáček’s The Diary of One who Disappeared with Julius Drake and he was nominated as Singer of the Year by the Royal Philharmonic Society.

During the pandemic, Nicky was a volunteer vaccinator and he's just taken up the role of  judge and mentor on Sky Arts' TV show Anyone can sing.

Voice type/Instrument: Tenor

Year at the Studio: 2009/10

Website: www.nickyspence.com/